Fortune’s “On the Cusp List” Features Smaller Brands With Big Differentiators

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 26 August, 2016

Fortune recently published its global “Change the World List” of 50 companies that it found “had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy.” The list includes companies with revenues over $1 billion that are rated on three criteria: social impact, business results, and degree of innovation. You can view the entire list here.

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Topics: brands

Universal Faces $40 Million Trademark Lawsuit Over New “Chocolate Emporium”

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 24 August, 2016

On Monday, the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen restaurant opened for previews at theme park Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida. Meanwhile, in Ohio, Adam Limle, who registered a trademark for The Chocolate Factory back in 2014, filed a $40 million lawsuit against NBC Universal and Universal Orlando, claiming that the companies stole his idea for the new restaurant.

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Topics: trademark

Donald Duck Knockoff on US Presidential Campaign Trail

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 22 August, 2016

Usually when we write about sightings of faux Disney characters the locale is China, but now one’s been seen lurking around Trump Tower in New York City.

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Topics: trademark

Specsavers “Should’ve” Trademark Approved by UKIPO

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 19 August, 2016

This may be a case of brands saying, “I coulda, shoulda, woulda” have filed that trademark for my catchphrase using a common verb if I knew it might be accepted by the trademark office.

What came as a surprise to many was that the UKIPO recently accepted optician group Specsavers’ trademark application for “should’ve.” One attorney told BBC News the UKIPO decision was “astonishing” although brewing company Carlsberg was successful 20 years ago in registering the single common word "probably" used in its “probably the best beer in the world” advertising campaigns.”

Specsavers has long used the phrase “Should’ve gone to Specsavers” in its advertising. The trademark registration also includes “shouldve” (sans apostrophe), which the company uses as a hashtag in social media campaigns. Interestingly, the trademark filing goes beyond eyewear products and hearing aids, and includes printed materials related to gift cards and other retail services.

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Topics: trademark

Designer Alexander Wang Awarded $90 Million in Trademark and Cybersquatting Case

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

A US District Court judge awarded fashion designer Alexander Wang $90 million in damages in a trademark counterfeiting and cybersquatting case against 50 defendants who run 459 websites. The court froze the defendants’ websites and transferred their domain names to Wang.

Unfortunately, since most of the domain owners are nearly impossible to locate (and none of them showed up in court), Wang will likely never get the $90 million in damages. Cybersquatters often use fake names and bogus information in domain name registrations, leaving the courts to award default judgments. This fact was echoed in WWD’s report that a spokesperson for Wang said, "The court system regularly awards very large amounts for the symbolic significance, as a means of deterring other individuals and parties. In other words, Alexander Wang is unlikely to receive $90 million."

According to The Fashion Law, Operation in Our Sites, enables US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to work with partner organizations, like PayPal, to seize funds from accounts associated with defendants and websites selling counterfeit goods. But, since many domain owners are aware of this effort, they constantly move most of their money out of online accounts, leaving only small amounts behind available for seizure.

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Topics: counterfeits, trademark

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